Sunday, 23 October 2016

If You Can't Take a Joke

The Travels of a Naval Salesman is a memoir written by Gordon Gray, relating how he began his career in sales as an utter novice and how he rose through the ranks of his peers to become an expert in the field of the worldwide field of naval defence sales.

It's a fascinating read and is a tell all book that covers a vast range of subjects, topics and the highly intelligent musings of a man who has been there, done that and also sold it!

Join Gordon as he drinks some highly illegal and absolutely disgusting moonshine alcohol in Saudi Arabia. Gordon reveals that, on balance, he would rather have been drinking Cola!

Also puzzle with Gordon as to why certain sections of the media (you know who they are!) prefer to eschew the pedestrian descriptive phrase "international Defence Salesman) for the somewhat more pejorative term: "Arms Dealer?"

It couldn't be because they are -gasp!- clueless as to the reality of the situation, or perhaps even just a little bit biased?

It's clear from reading Gordon's book that this is his viewpoint and one that he puts forward with admirable alacrity and commonsense.

Travel with Gordon as he takes his first steps in his career in 1977 with Decca Radar/Racal Decca, where he worked as Sales Manager and Far East Sales Manager, culminating with a position as International Sales Executive for BAE Systems. From which he took early retirement at age 57, with a voluntary redundancy package.

Find out why, during his career after he left the Royal Navy he turned down and eyewateringly high salary increase to tempt him to take a new job, and how some time later he was proven to be absolutely correct to turn the job down and the several desperate entreaties for him to please reconsider his decision.

Learn about Gordon's first and long lusted for first sales trip. Which was all the way to Bradford in West Yorkshire. Which helped him to decide on a sideways move to another part of the Decca group which, eventually brought Gordon to the field of international sales and visits to Saudi Arabia, Korea, Hong Kong and beyond.

This is a highly entertaining and informative read, amply illustrated with a variety of photographs,  and your reviewer can recommend this book as a stocking filler this Christmas for people in sales and also for those who are fans of well-written biographical memoirs.

It is published in paperback by Matador at a very reasonable £9.99 and is available to purchase from the That's Books and Entertainment book and gift shop, the portal to which you will find to the righthand side of this review.

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